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viernes, 23 de diciembre de 2011

Ivoriens steal show at CAD awards 2011

Cote d’Ivoire was the dominant force at the CAF Awards Gala held on Thursday, December 22 at the Banquet Hall, State House in Accra.
Midfielder Yaya Toure grabbed the topmost honour, Player of the Year, to crown a spectacular evening where Ivorian football shone. Youngster Souleymane Coulibaly was named Most Promising Talent of the Year and referee Noumandiez Doue as the best in his category.
Toure, 28, beat Malian Seydou Keita and Andre Ayew of Ghana and was decorated as Africa’s finest footballer for the first time in his career becoming the second Ivorian after Didier Drogba to win the most prestigious individual honour in African football since its inception in 1992.
The honour caps a wonderful year for the midfield maestro who has been in scintillating form for club and country. An emotional Toure, spotting a brown ‘boubou’ received his prize from the CAF President Issa Hayatou assisted by Ghana’s Minister of Youth and Sports, Clement Kofi Humado.
“I am very happy to win the award. I feel proud of this special day. I thank my family; wife and kids for their support. I am also grateful to my brother (Kolo Toure), my teammates (Club and national team) and the Ivorian Football Federation for their role in this feat,” Toure said.
However, it was teenage striker Coulibaly who almost stole the show at the ceremony in traditional woven shirt won by people from the northern part of Cote d’Ivoire.
Ghana’s Ayew led a strong delegation that included his father Abedi Pele, who won the maiden edition of the award in 1992 and kid-brother Jordan.
Tunisian midfielder Oussama Darragi was named African Player of the Year (Based in Africa). The Esperance captain beat his teammate Yaya Banana of Cameroon and compatriot Zouheir Dhaouadi of Club African to the prize.
Super Falcons captain Perpetua Nkwocha was adjudged Women’s Footballer of the Year for an unprecedented fourth time. The 35-year old Nigerian had previously won the award in 2004, 2005 and 2010.
Niger coach Harouna Doula picked the prize for best coach whilst Africa Cup of Nations debutants Botswana saw their efforts in the qualifying series being rewarded with National Team of the Year gong. The Indomitable Lionesses of Cameroon were also named Women’s National Team of the Year.
CAF Champions League winners’ Esperance Sportive de Tunis was adjudged Club of the Year whilst Libya grabbed the Fair Play award.
Former internationals Mustapha Hadji of Morocco and Austin ‘Jay-Jay’Okocha of Nigeria were presented with Legends Awards in recognition of their contribution to the development of the game over the years.
The ceremony sponsored by telecommunications giants, Globacom left the guests in awe with its rich display of culture, acrobatics and musical performance. There were also musical performances from Ghanaian hi-life sensation Kwabena Kwabena and young songstress, Efya, both from Ghana.
Beninois Zeynab also added some colour to the event just as South Africa duo Gloria Bosman and Loyiso Bala and Kenyan acrobatic tumbling group, ‘Troop Agile’.
This is the third time the award was being staged in Ghana after 2006 and 2009.

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